The war on cash is now being subsidized . . .

. . . by – who else? – credit card companies, who stand to make enormous sums of money if the tactic succeeds.

Just four months after the Supreme Court ruled that small businesses had the right to advertise lower prices for customers who pay cash, Visa is hawking a “cashless society” contest that gives small businesses $10,000 — if they stop accepting paper altogether.

Visa, like all card companies, likes the idea of a cashless society because it gets a cut from a business every time a customer swipes.

There’s more at the link.

A cashless society may be a great idea for Visa or Mastercard, but it’s a lousy one for the rest of us.  What happens when the card payment network goes down?  We saw an inkling of it when the EBT network was disrupted, a few years ago.  Another example was the evacuation from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which saw electronic communications with many banks disrupted for weeks, and refugees finding their cards and checks refused by shops outside the disaster area (see point 11 in the first post here).  Without cash, anyone in those or similar positions would be S.O.L.

What’s more, I (and many others) very strongly recommend keeping at least a month’s spending money in cash, at home, in case of emergency.  It’s not just a matter of ‘bugging out’ from natural or other disaster;  if you find your bank account frozen because of your bank closing its doors (temporarily or permanently), or being investigated by the IRS or SEC, or whatever, you’ll still need to buy essentials.  Cash remains king under such circumstances.  I’ve got no intention of allowing Visa to stop me spending it – and any business refusing cash can do without my consumer dollars, thank you very much.



  1. Plus the credit card company's ever-more stringent anti-fraud algorithms make it more likely that an important transaction might not go through.

    I ordered a propane fridge on line and it took three phones calls to Mastercard's customer disservice to straighten things out. Their computer had blocked it because of 1) initial error in billing address, 2) more expensive than usual purchase, and 3) order was placed in a remote area (Montana).

    When I told the seller that the CC company thought there must be a lot of criminals in Montana, he replied "Yes, but they're all in Helena, in the state legislature."

  2. I'd love to find such a cash free business and then hit them up with cash

    "This note is legal tender for all debts public and private"

    usually I dislike people who go hunting for lawsuits, but in this case I would make an exception.

    David Lang

  3. Yeah, this is easy to fix. Wait till they go cashless, then cut their data line. A day or so without any sales will put most small businesses under.

    Or you can have a power outage.

    Did no one learn from Katrina? I had to give a neighbor money because she needed an ATM to get the cash to purchase her prescription a week or so after Katrina. Cash is king in a disaster area.

    Asynchronous money is the only way to go unless you like going hungry, without medicine, etc. when things get rough.

  4. They also want to force us to have to go online to meet all our needs (outside of the biological ones).
    Never mind what an inconvenience that can prove to be to those of meager means.
    And what an annoyance it is to the more practical-minded.

  5. Cash equals self reliance. Self reliance is an enemy of control. And CONTROL is what those in power seek. While the credit card company may be the one stumping for the end of cash it is the power brokers and politicians who are behind this. They will seek to make cashless life the norm. When people get used to it it will cease to be an option and eventually be imposed by law. Everything happens for a reason. Profit is one, power and control are the others.

  6. If you buy something and pay with a credit card the fact that you bought whatever it was is now available to anyone that has access to the store's data. If you want and expect your purchase information to remain private pay cash and don't use any loyalty/rewards program, that also tracks your purchases.

    Look back a year or so at the articles on Target and their customized marketing that was able to get a lot of information about you based on your purchases.

  7. Hey Peter;

    Also if you pay with a card, the Gov't can track how much money you spend or pay, it helps nail the "underground" economy, Uncle Sam wants his cut especially if you work for tips or work for cash under the table, that money is untraceable,

  8. tough on those living where there is no internet or cell phone signal. that is how 'they' will force everyone out of the middle of the country into their agenda 21 housing on the edges of the continent.
    may 'they' all burn in hell where they can spend eternity with the devil, who is their true father .

    federal law is that those doing business in the united states must accept the american money. that is federal law.

  9. Visa may say this is a good deal, but talk to any small vendor about "credit card processing fees", and you'll run into a rant. You know why some small businesses don't take AmEx or Discover? Processing fees. Know why you see a "All purchases under $25 subject to a processing fee?" Cause they'd lose money on the sale, otherwise.

    You know why Square is eating the standard processing companies' lunch? Processing fees. Because yes, there is a middleman company, and it wants its pound of flesh on top of the credit card company itself.

    When you pay in cash to a small business, they're happier because a whole bunch of their profit margin didn't get eaten by a credit card processing fee.

    Of course, if that pesky cash went away and they had a monopoly on the market… who here thinks the processing fees would drop or merely stay the same?

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